EarthCheck’s clients scoop the Travel + Leisure’s Top 25 Hotel Brands in the World

More travellers are gravitating toward hotels that support guests' well-being and follow responsible business practices, with 25% of the T + L list being partners of EarthCheck.
More travellers are gravitating toward hotels that support guests' well-being and follow responsible business practices, with 25% of the T + L list being partners of EarthCheck.


During a year that upended the entire world — and, with it, the whole hospitality industry — hotel groups large and small have demonstrated incredible perseverance. They’ve navigated lockdowns, donated rooms to first responders, found ways to support their staff, and, as conditions improved, welcomed back guests with service that may have looked a bit different but felt no less gracious. In fact, T+L readers awarded hotels even higher marks, on average, than last year, which is especially impressive given all of the COVID-19 safety protocols brands had to implement.

Every year for the World’s Best Awards survey, T + L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers rated hotel brands on their locations, rooms/facilities, food, service, and overall value.

EarthCheck’s newest partner, Belmond made this year’s list at No. 22, earning raves for sterling service and elegant properties that deeply reflect a sense of place. “Every trip I take, if there is a Belmond option, I splurge for a few nights,” wrote one reader. “Worth it every time. Each property is different and feels unique based on the location — but they’re all consistent in their commitment to quality.” 

Generally speaking, more and more travellers are gravitating toward hotels that support guests’ well-being and follow responsible business practices, with 25% of the T + L list being partners of EarthCheck. EarthCheck provides these brands with credible and evidence-based science. In a luxury world all about experiences, they have access to scientific data to support their business planning and decisions, guaranteeing they meet the needs of the new carbon economy. 


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There are more than 476 million Indigenous Peoples, found in all regions of the world, from the Arctic to the tropical forests. They make up more than 6 per cent of our global population.


In the spirit of reconciliation, EarthCheck acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout the world and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Indigenous Peoples today.


EarthCheck acknowledges that Indigenous Peoples are guardians of the forests and biodiversity hotspots we all depend on. Research shows that lands managed by Indigenous Peoples, with secure rights, experience lower deforestation rates, store more carbon, hold more biodiversity, and benefit more people than other lands — including protected areas.


We recognise and support the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the most comprehensive international instrument on the rights of Indigenous Peoples. The Declaration is a positive document that maps out a path for Indigenous Peoples to be free from discrimination and secure in their identities and life choices.

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EarthCheck Certified: Aligned globally

EarthCheck science and products were developed by the Australian Government Sustainable Tourism Co-operative Research Centre (STCRC) over ten years. Our science is reviewed annually to ensure that it meets international standards relative to greenhouse gas protocols, responsible tourism, and certification.

EarthCheck products and services are built on the Agenda 21 principles for Sustainable Development endorsed by 182 Heads of State at the United Nations Rio De Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992 and aligned to the SDGs.

EarthCheck Certified provides a framework for organisations to achieve the desired outcomes for sustainable development as set out in the final report of the World Summit for Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in 2002.

EarthCheck Certified complies with the Mohonk Agreement (2000), which outlines the guidelines and principles for an international sustainable tourism certification program. It is also a Recognised program of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

EarthCheck Certified is a verification standard accepted by CDP. It is also an approved program of the Certification and Accreditation Administration of the People’s Republic of China (CNCA), London & Partners, the Mexican Secretary of Tourism (SECTUR) and the City of Sydney.

EarthCheck Certified is an approved program for meeting the EU Energy Directive for the Federal Office for Economic Affairs and Export Control (Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle – BAFA) in Germany and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy) in the Netherlands.

EarthCheck partners with international research organisations to maintain the currency of EarthCheck science and our benchmarking systems.

The EarthCheck brand signifies scientific excellence, better environmental, economic, and social performance, improved community interactions, and savings through more efficient use of resources. It provides recognition and promotional support to a global consumer market.